I hope you have remembered to nip out & wash your face in the dew this morning? If not, rush out and do it now, before it all evaporates. Tradition has it that washing your face in the May Day dew makes you beautiful all year. If you could see me now, you’d realise that I’m only managing to tell you this through the magic of scheduling.
May Day is the time for spring rituals, like dancing round the maypole, well dressing (in Derbyshire) and Morris dancing. It has been celebrated since pagan times. As with many old festivals, the origin is difficult to trace, partly because several cultures had festivals around the same time. The Romans held their festival for the goddess Flora for a couple of days each side of the same date.
May is also the signal for an annual controversy about the advice ne’er cast a clout till May be out. Does it mean the month? Or the flower? Logically, if the hawthorn trees are covered with their blossom, then it must be warm enough to wear your summer clothes. Some say the next line runs “Button through till June be to,” as warm weather is often followed by a cold snap.
I can’t help thinking we should work on the flower theory, & take a cardi just in case. Judging by the number of cream linen suits I’ve seen round London the last couple of days, a lot of people agree. These May flowers are from Hyde Park, yesterday morning.
Now off you go and wash your face.
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